Labour’s line that Taito Philip Field was only guilty of being a hard working MP trying to help his constituents has had another setback, with the Supreme Court dismissing his appeal. The Herald reports:
The judges said in their finding there must be a “de minimis defence” available for people such as MPs whereby gifts of token value – such as a rugby jersey – were acceptable.
However, the services Field had received were worth about $50,000, and that could not be considered de minimis.
“While we are satisfied that the acceptance of gifts which are de minimis should not be considered corrupt … the acceptance of other benefits in connection with official actions is rightly regarded as corrupt irrespective of whether there was an antecedent promise or bargain,” they said.
“In the present circumstances, given the substantial nature of the benefits, no such defence was tenable.”
The reason I keep banging on about Field is because Labour to this day have never ever said that his behaviour was corrupt. Even after the Ingram Report came out, the party leadership defended him. Even after the verdict their only comment was they acknowledged the verdict. Their actions stood in total contrast to how ACT dealt with Donna Awatere-Huata (whose offending wasn’t even in her capacity as an MP).
But unless Field pops up as a member of a future Workplace Commission, this is probably the last post on him as he should now fade from view.